Thursday, October 30, 2008

West Mountains Hike

I've been trying to burn up some time off at work. Since the weather was looking good I took Wednesday off and went hiking in the West Mountains above Cascade. The objectives of the day were four peaks: Granite Mountain, Snowbank Mountain, Collier Peak, and the Gem County highpoint. The first two peaks only required getting out of the car, however the latter two required some hiking. Fortunately this area is relatively flat and open, allowing for some fast-paced hiking. This is a good thing because I got a much later start than I was intending. After quickly touching the first two summits, I hit the trail around 11:30am headed toward Collier Peak.

Soon I was atop Collier Peak, which has a great view of the Round Valley and Cascade. After taking in the vistas, I began the long but quick hike over to the Gem County highpoint. There were numerous photo opportunities along the way, of which I had to take advantage. Despite my dawdling, I made it to the Gem County highpoint at about 2:15pm. From there, I took in the scenery and began the trek back to the car, which took about 2 hours.

This was my first hike in this part of Idaho and I left very impressed! The terrain is very gentle and the views are spectacular. Unfortunately on this day some controlled burns limited the visibility to the west; about the only negative thing I can say!

Trip statistics: 5 hours, 11.5 miles, 2900' elevation

West Mountains Hike Pictures!

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